2021 Best & Brightest Online MBAs: Joy Scott, University of Florida (Warrington)

Joy Scott

University of Florida, Warrington Online MBA

“Driven sales professional who loves travel, outdoors, and yoga. Sauvignon blanc enthusiast.”

Age: 30

Hometown: Jacksonville, FL

Fun fact about yourself: I have a personal goal to visit one new country every year. I’ve done it every year since 2017…hopefully I get to continue that streak in 2021!

Undergraduate School and Degree: Food and Resource Economics, University of Florida

Where are you currently working? Unit General Manager, PepsiCo (Memphis, TN)

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Making the move to Memphis, TN for a position after living in Florida for 28 years. The move stretched me outside my comfort zone more than anything I’ve done in my life. I’ve seen myself grow specifically in the areas of confidence, networking, and openness. It’s cool to see.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? As a UF alum, I was probably biased in selecting the school. However, after doing more research, I learned about the Online Hybrid program, which combined online with in person visits. I felt that specific program met my needs at the time. I love face-to-face interactions, but also understood online was most realistic with my plans to continue working full time.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? It gave me the flexibility to work full time while pursuing my goal of earning an MBA. I could tailor my study schedule around my work schedule.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? It was the importance of pacing yourself. Lectures are typically not live, so you have to decide when and how often to watch. I found it most beneficial to set aside 3-4 days a week to watch lectures, so I am not binging on the weekend. It was important for me to maintain a healthy social life while in school (for my mental health!), so this worked best for me.

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? One notable area of contrast is operating as a group. In the beginning of the program, we were assigned a group. These 3-4 people were your groupmates for all core courses. MBA programs are heavy on group work, so about 50% of assignments were completed with your group. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from the group structure. The biggest ones include effectively coaching peers, identifying and leveraging strengths, and overall coordination. These takeaways can easily be applied in the corporate setting, as they are necessary skills for having an effective team.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? Although your program is online, it does not mean you cannot be engaged. Take advantage of all opportunities to connect with administration, professors, and cohort members. Attend office hours, go to “virtual socials”, and participate in events hosted by administration. Being engaged not only allows you to foster relationships outside the classroom, but also become exposed to topics or resources you may not have otherwise.

What would you change about an online MBA Program? In online programs, it can be challenging to connect with members within your cohort/class due the nature of the program. It would be beneficial to have optional in person socials (regionally) for those who’d like to meet others in person.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? Many of our courses had content that I was able to apply on the job immediately. One of the most notable classes was “Professional Writing”. We spent the semester learning how to write and speak with clarity, concision, and coherence in a business environment. I think of principles learned in that class every time I write an email or draft out a presentation.

Number of Hours Per Week Spent On Online MBA: 15 hours per week.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I’d love to progress to a sales executive within my company. I enjoy coaching and developing a team as well as strategizing for revenue/sales growth. A role that allows me to combine both would be a dream.


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